It may not look like it where you live, but spring is here! This weekend is a good time to check some cleaning tasks off your list, honor women’s history (March is Women’s History Month) and, if you’re not facing another winter storm, maybe even cook dinner on the grill. Find eight ideas for the first weekend of spring straight ahead.
1. Spring-clean your living room. Launder slipcovers, spot-clean walls and wash the front windows. On a roll? Drop off your area rug for professional cleaning if it needs it, and dust the front door, blinds and baseboards too.
2. Tidy up one corner of the garage. We’re not talking about deep cleaning here. Instead, pick one small zone (like the area nearest the door) where you’ll be able to make significant progress with an hour or two of effort.
Get rid of the easy stuff first: old catalogs, empty bags, broken tools and expired products. Put away items that belong elsewhere, then straighten up what’s left.
3. Ready your home for stormy weather. Just because spring is officially here doesn’t mean Mother Nature agrees, especially in the northeastern U.S., a region facing its fourth winter storm this month. Stay informed by checking your local news station for the latest information, and take some common sense precautions if a storm is headed your way. Make sure your car has a full tank of gas, charge your cellphones and other electronic devices, and gather enough supplies to last several days in case of a power outage.
If your basement is prone to flooding, elevate items off the floor and check the sump pump. Before the storm hits, secure outdoor furniture or bring it indoors, and clear any clogged rain gutters if possible. Learn more about how to prepare for a nor’easter at Mass.gov.
4. Store household and garden chemicals safely. National Poison Prevention Week in the U.S. (March 19 to 25) is a good reminder to check your home, garage and garden shed for household chemicals, medications and other items that may be harmful or even fatal if ingested (like e-cigarette products). Make sure these items are stored in their original packaging, up high and out of children’s sight. Chemicals in easy-to-open containers (such as fertilizers) should be kept in a securely locked cabinet or shed.
5. Do a spring wardrobe clean-out. The change of season is an ideal time to reassess what’s in your wardrobe.
Do all of the pieces in your closet fit well and align with your personal style? Remove items that are worn out, don’t fit or simply don’t feel like you, then make a list of any gaps in your wardrobe you’d like to fill this season.
6. Honor women’s history. March is Women’s History Month. Celebrate by reading a book or watching a film about women who have made important contributions to the world (Hidden Figures, anyone?), attending a lecture or learning about the women on your own family tree. If you’re up for a field trip, visit a museum with a Women’s History Month exhibit or tour a home — like the one belonging to America’s first female self-made millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker, shown here.
7. Get organized for spring and summer celebrations. Don’t let another birthday, wedding or baby shower sneak up on you — with a little advance preparation, you’ll always be ready for the occasion. First, check that you have all birthdays and upcoming occasions recorded in one place (such as on your phone or a paper perpetual calendar).
Next, gather supplies: a few rolls of versatile gift wrap, a handful of cards for all occasions and perhaps a stash of go-to hostess gifts will keep you stocked and ready to go. If you’re in a season of life when you’re attending lots of children’s birthday parties or baby showers, consider choosing one or two favorite gifts to keep on hand in multiples.
8. Celebrate spring with dinner on the grill. If it’s not stormy where you are, consider layering on a jacket and firing up the grill anyway. Cooking outdoors makes any dinner more fun, even if you bring the food back inside to enjoy. Plus, there will be less kitchen mess to clean up afterward.